When I was asked to contribute to this series of articles, it only took me a few minutes to think of the one music-related picture which has affected me the most in my life. Though this one doesn't make me cry as such, it definitely fills me with emotion, mostly warmth and fondness.

From the age of eight or so (maybe younger), I started collecting Black Sabbath records. While my siblings spent their pocket money in a wild frenzy on sweets every Friday, I would save mine and head into Relics in Leeds to get myself an album. In a matter of months I had a formidable Sabbath and Ozzy vinyl collection. I was obsessed. I would listen to them all the time, write the lyrics down, even time the tracks and make Sabbath compilations on tape for my friend Shawn.

One day, with most of the records in my possession, I got 'Master of Reality' on CD. "DIGITALLY REMASTERED" it said, a detail which filled me with excitement. The album, of course, sounded wonderful, but even more impressive perhaps was the fact that it came with a free fold-out poster. It was moody and weird, the four Sabbath legends in all their glory.

Although I wanted this amazing picture on my wall, I was reluctant, even at that age, to take a CD cover out of its case for too long. My dad came up with a solution; he would take it to work and photocopy it for me. Once we had the picture, photocopied and blown up, my dad came up with the idea of making me a box to keep all my Sabbath records in. But how?

Well, for some reason, there was a limited edition Wham boxed set in the house (none of us were fans, so maybe it was a leftover from the 80s), and though it had gold vinyl and a poster in it, no one seemed to want the damn thing. My dad then, seeing the perfect opportunity, cut it in half, and with the aid of black tape and the aforementioned photocopied picture, made me a customised Black Sabbath box. I still have and use that box, and even though it is a little ragged now, just looking at the thing instantly takes me back to being a giddy ten-year-old, totally obsessed with this old heavy metal band that no one else at school, apart from Shawn, had even heard of.

But really, that picture makes me think of my dad, who is a constant support and friend in my life. He is always the first person to hear a new Dodson and Fogg album, get one of my new books, or anything else I have worked on. He has always encouraged and nurtured my creativity, ever since I was a kid writing songs on an ice cream tub I fitted with rubber bands for strings, before he got me a real guitar. So this picture does move me, because it makes me think of my dad's kindness, the image of him making me that box because he knew how happy it would make me. Some things you just don't forget.








Related Links:

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